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Writing to inspire – Nadishka Aloysius

Chamindu Seneviratne and Huvin Rathnayake interviewed Nadishka Aloysius on her recent book launch titled “Eyesha and the Great Elephant Gathering”. Below are the excerpts of the interview:

Can you give us an introduction of yourself?

My name is Nadishka Aloysius and I’m a teacher by profession. I’ve been teaching for 20 years. I have two kids who love stories, so I started writing. My elephant book is the third book.

What is your first book?

The first is “Toren and the Alphabet Fairy”. It’s an activity book which also teaches you the alphabet. It has stickers too. After my second son was born, I made a book for him and it was also named after him. The name of it is “Ronan’s Dinosaur”.

Where did you get the ideas to write these kinds of books?

Well, the first one was written for my elder son and I wrote the second one because they like dinosaurs – it’s also about family and friendship. That book is about a boy who is scared of everything and this dinosaur helps him overcome his fears to make new friends.

What is your writing process?

I write as much as I can when I’m able, so if I’m in the middle of writing a sentence and if I have work to do, I do my work and hours later finish that sentence. I wrote Ronan’s Dinosaur for a couple of months, carrying the laptop around with me while I was taking my sons for classes.

Is writing your hobby?

It started as a hobby, but it has become a little bit more now.

What’s the first book that made you cry?

There’s a book about this famous model. She’s an African. It’s called “Dessert Flower” and it’s about her life. That is one book that I found to make me emotional.

What’s the way you market your books?

Actually, I market my books internationally on Amazon. Locally, I market them on social media.

Who inspire you to write? I guess it’s my two kids, because that’s where I started my writing.

Are there any unpublished books? Can you tell us some names if there are?

Yes, I have lots of books that I have written. Well, the next one coming out is actually ready to be published. Then I have one book about a story of a mystery involving a group of kids. There is another for teenagers about the “Ramayanaya”.

Do you write as a profession?

It is becoming that now, because I’m printing and publishing books. So, this is becoming a little bit of a business, because I need money. So yes, this is now my second job.

How do you select the names of your characters in the books you write?

So far, I’ve been randomly putting names, but there is a book I’m writing about a cat. For this, I’m keeping a competition on Facebook to suggest the best name for this cat.

What is your editing process?

I just write everything. Now, of course, I have time to finish a book within a couple of months without taking years. Because what happens is, when you write a book for years, sometimes you don’t remember what you wrote. Therefore, editing is sometimes about making sure mistakes won’t happen while, in my case, I don’t write enough conversations and the book ends too quickly, having to go back and see that everything that should be said is there and changing some aspects such as long descriptions.

What are the common grabs that you use in your books to impress people?

When you write, you should have a hook at the end of every chapter. So, I write such hooks at the end of each chapter in my books.

 What kind of books do you like to read?

I like fiction stories such as of Agatha Christie and I finished reading the Games of Thrones book series, only to realise that it is not finished yet. Now, I’m watching the television series to catch up. I love fantasy.

Can you mention some books you read in your childhood?

I read a lot of Enid Blyton books. In those days, it was the only thing that I put my hands on. When I was 11 years of age, I read classics.

Can you mention one thing you gave up to become a writer?

Sleep! Mothers can understand this. If you have kids, you have to spend more time with them. So, for a mother, sleep is very important. I gave it up and wrote many chapters of books till midnight sometimes.

What is the message you are giving to the other writers in Sri Lanka? In Sri Lanka, publication of books is difficult, and there are so many people who write and hide their books. But you need to show it to your friends, family, and people around you and get the comments from them. That should be the beginning. Interviewed by: Chamindu Seneviratne (grade 9N) Huvin Rathnayake (grade 9N)

Recorded by: Sithum Bulner (grade 9N)

Photos: Sethuli Tinara (grade 8N) Typed by: Ravija Sejan Copyright@Media Club Of Royal Institute International School, Gampaha